As you move into the golden years, keeping your health in check can feel like a full-time job. Thankfully, simply adopting a healthy lifestyle can help, making it easier to feel your best always. Wondering just what it will take to improve your health? Here’s a look at six easy areas you can improve on to make a big difference in your wellness through the senior years.
Transform Your Diet
Aging changes your calorie and nutrient needs, so it’s likely time to take a good, hard look at your diet. Overall, it’s best to reduce your intake of added sugar and salt, while eating a nice balance of whole grains, fruit and vegetables.
Since the risk of obesity increases as you age, calculate your calorie needs to maintain a healthy weight. Then, track your foods to ensure you’re hitting the right metrics, and adjust your meals until you do.
Aim to hit your ideal daily values for vitamins and minerals too, including calcium and vitamin D for better bone health. Keep in mind that the majority of your nutrients should come from whole foods rather than supplements.
Drink More Water
Did you know that your sense of thirst decreases as you grow older? And as this happens, you may not realize that you’re not getting nearly enough water on a daily basis.
The resulting dehydration can make you feel nauseated, confused, and outright sick, plus cause a wide variety of health problems, like kidney damage. So, it’s best to track your water intake as well to make sure you drink enough fluid every day.
For best results, drink fresh water daily equaling 1/3 of your body weight in ounces. If you’re 125 pounds, for example, then you’ll want to drink about 42 ounces of water each day.
Get Moving Each Day
Staying active every day is key in maintaining your mobility and boosting wellness through the years. Daily exercise helps strengthen your bones and joints, reduces the risk of obesity, and promotes great heart health.
Ideally, you should do about 30 minutes of aerobic activity daily, including cycling, jogging, and walking. If you have joint pain, go with low-impact activities instead, like home workouts, water aerobics, or swimming. Then, do strength training about three times each week using resistance bands or hand weights.
Don’t forget to stretch before each exercise session to improve your flexibility. Stretching helps warm up your muscles and joints too, which can help reduce the risk of injury.
Tap into the Tech World
As you work on optimizing your health in the senior years, tap into the tech world for support. Smart gadgets can help you dial in your daily diet and fitness activities, manage health conditions, and so much more. It began with life alert systems and grew into wearables such as pendants and now smart watches that can monitor health signals.
For help with your diet and exercise, go with a fitness tracker that connects to a meal-tracking app. Need to better track your blood pressure? Many home monitoring cuffs connect straight to an app that records every reading.
Other high-tech solutions for seniors may help with checking in with doctors without having to leave home, calling for help if you’re experiencing a medical emergency, and maintaining connections with people in your social circle. Gadgets can help with remembering to take medications at the right time each day, and promoting brain health through game-play and other engaging interactions.
You can even get GPS tracking systems that loved ones can use to find your exact location if you’re in trouble and in need of immediate assistance.
Embrace Aging in Place
Aging in place can have a profound impact on your overall health as you grow older. But it does take a little forethought and preparation to ensure you can live safely on your own. Fortunately, there are many services and life hacks to assist in the process.
To do that, you must look around your home while reflecting on how your needs might change over time. Then, make smart changes to your home design. If you experience a decrease in mobility, for example, then you’ll need ramps instead of stairs and may even need wider doorways.
You might also want to upgrade your flooring, add more lights, and install grab bars throughout the living space. Smart home technology is a wise investment too, especially if it allows you to engage in hands-free living more often. Even healthcare is now a service you can get at home. Concierge medicine in Palo Alto and other cities enables you to get the healthcare you need without the hassle of getting to or from appointments.
Prioritize Social Activities
It’s very common to feel rather isolated in the senior years. And the lack of social support can have a profoundly negative impact on your health. Your risk of developing heart disease, Alzheimer’s and depression all increase due to social isolation.
To avoid this, you need to make social activities a priority every week. Join a book club, start a walking group, or simply attend classes at your local community center. Volunteering in your community can get you out of the house and help you build a strong social network as well.
Don’t forget the power of the internet, which lets you meet online friends on social media, in forums and in games. You can then continue to meet up through the same platforms or even move your conversations onto video chat.
Although it might seem like a lot of effort, putting your all into these six areas will help you stay happy and healthy in your senior years. Although modern healthcare is a lot more accessible at the local level, and increasingly so, you still want to maintain good health rather than needing healthcare. Let your friends and family know if you need support in achieving your wellness goals. They can help you troubleshoot and solve any challenges that stand in your way of healthy living.